So my grandma has cancer.


I got my blue eyes from her, Addie is named after her.

It’s weird to say, my grandma has cancer. I mean, cancer is really common and frankly she’s made it to almost 90 years old with nothing more than a bum knee and a bad eye. So to say “Grandma has cancer” is weird, because on one hand she’s lived for almost an entire century, it had to happen sometime. On the other hand, she’s lived for almost an entire century, why now? It’s bladder cancer and my mom has been keeping me updated on what’s going to be happening next, which is an ostomy. Turns out there’s a local company right here in Indy called Awestomy! and I’m going to see if they will make her a shirt that reads “Grandma’s got a brand new bag.” Because my grandma, she has a sense of humor. She also grew up in Oklahoma so the ‘Oklastoma!” shirt may be even more appropriate. Hallmark even has a whole bunch of funny “So, you have cancer?” cards and suddenly I find myself with someone to send them to.

She’s always been my more, well, frightening grandma. I can remember when I was Addie’s age my mom told me to ask my grandma to cut a grapefruit for me, I came up behind her in her chair and the thought of asking her to cut a grapefruit for me was terrifying so I decided I’d rather go without a grapefruit. She is a very no nonsense woman, a curmudgeon in the very best way.

my grandma and addie

You don’t mess with grandma, ever.

While I have always been a little frightened of her, she is also one of the most admirable women in my life. You see, she puts up with my grandpa and has for over 60 years. My grandpa turns 93 in a couple of weeks and while he’s still up and at ’em, he’s getting older too. Alzheimer’s. I visited them last month while I was in California and in my time there he made toast, twice. When I talked to my grandma about her cancer she wasn’t so concerned about herself, she was more worried about who would take care of grandpa while she was busy kicking cancer’s trash.

Who knows how much toast he’d make if I weren’t here!

If I were cancer and looking for someone new, I sure as hell wouldn’t pick you.” I said.

Stopped in and surprised my grannies. Married 67 years.

She laughed. Even she knows you don’t mess with grandma.

Last year she had to put her foot down with my grandpa and tell him he could no longer work. He was getting lost on the way home, a home he has lived in for over 60 years. She confessed that having him home was exhausting but it was better for everyone that he wasn’t out on his own.

my grannies

If you ever get sick of him, you can always send him back to work and maybe he won’t find his way back!”

She laughed really hard.

I love making my grandma laugh because she doesn’t laugh at much.

my grandma and me

So my grandma has cancer. My mom is on the front lines caring for both my grandma and my grandpa, she told me last year it’s hard to watch your parents get old. My grandma is determined as hell to get better so she can take care of my grandpa (she was a career nurse, while I sometimes wonder if she instilled the same fear into her patients that she instilled into me as a child, there is no one better or more qualified to take care of my grandpa’s hundred little quirks.)

my grandma and me

Neither of them will live forever, and with how closely entwined their lives are and have been for the last half a century, the heart of one would never last long without the other. I’d like to think that if Cody and I make it to 67 years married and 90 years old we will be just like them. Fighting so hard, through cancer and Alzheimer’s, to stay together for as long as possible because we would each be lost without the other, even if we do drive each other nuts.


So my grandma has cancer. This is new territory for me. One one hand, my grandma has cancer, on the other hand? She is a fighter, not only for herself, but for the man she has loved for almost her entire life.


  1. I’m so sorry to hear this. But it sounds like your grandma is super badass and will kick cancer’s butt, but good.

  2. Aw – I will pray for your grandma. Grandmas are so special! I don’t have any anymore, and I miss them!

  3. Ugh, that stinks. I’ll be cheering for your grandma.

  4. Wait, hallmark really has cancer cards?

    Your grandma sounds spectacular and I love there is a sense of humor about it all – that is the best way to fight. Xo

    Casey Reply:

    @Pgoodness, They totally do. Just bought one today, had something to do with Chuck Norris, hopefully she gets the joke.

  5. So sorry to hear this. I lost my grandma in March, so this is extra-important. Putting her at the top of my prayer list.

  6. Her sense of humor will be the best thing she has. Sure, cancer stinks, but being a boring person is even worse! Make sure to give her extra love and cancer cards and kiddo pictures.

  7. I have no grandparents left, so this actually made me bawl. My last grandparent, my pop-pop, I lost to suicide almost two years ago at the age of 91. Prior to my grandmother dying two years before that, they’d been together for 82 years. Sometimes it’s nice to see that some people do stay married their whole lives. It gives some hope to the rest of us.
    Prayers going up for your Grandma.

    Casey Reply:

    @Amy, Oh man, that just wrecks my heart about your pop-pop, yet 82 years together, there’s inspiration in that.

  8. So your grandma has cancer. 5 words, but 5 terrible ones. I love that you went out and spent time with them and got such great pictures.

    She sounds like a hell of a woman. I bet she would cut you grapefruit if you asked nicely.

    Bless your family.

    Casey Reply:

    @Masala Chica, Chances are she’d just tell me where the knives are and to clean up after myself, this isn’t a hotel!

  9. Cheering for them both. They are adorable together. I love that fighting spirit. xoxo

  10. I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Rooting for them both from afar. xo

  11. I’m sorry.

  12. truly sorry.
    cancer sucks.
    but i’m so glad the humor & LIFE is still there/evident.

    congratulations that they are living a long and happy life together.

    all the best (& peace) to you & your family.

    PS. has many tools & wonderful FREE guidance to offer not only your g’ma but your family as well.
    or 1-800-ACS-2345

  13. Very sorry to hear about your gran. It sounds like you’ve got the right attitude though. Sending you prayers. x

  14. I read all about your grandma having cancer with dry eyes – because it sounds like she is going to kick its hiney. But then I read the line about how lost your grandparents would be without each other, and the tears flowed freely. That is a rare and beautiful thing, and the thought of one of them losing the other is heart-breaking. Prayers to both of them.

    Casey Reply:

    @Tabitha, I think them being apart is what would be hardest on all of us, they don’t know life without each other. I can’t imagine and yet I hope I get there all at the same time.

  15. I hate cancer. It’s the worst, the absolute worst.
    I’m praying for both your grandparents and for your mom too. Watching your parents suffer has got to be rough on her.
    And for you, I’m sending huge internet love. Can you feel it?

    Casey Reply:

    @Ami, Always.

  16. Bummer, sounds like she’ll rock it! Sending prayers!

  17. It was so nice to meet you on Friday. I’m totally moved by your post, especially post our Live Well. Get Old. summit. Praying your grandma kick cancers butt HARD. Your grandparents are so lucky to have your love.


    Casey Reply:

    @julie, Crazy timing right? It’s all so timely and real and fascinating and hard.

  18. Fight on, Grandma! Fight on!

  19. Sounds like your grandmother is determined and strong willed and that she is so loved – all excellent ingredients in the fight against cancer.

    Sending her some good butt-kicking vibes, and sending you love too.

  20. So sorry to hear this!! She sounds like one tough and amazing lady!!

  21. Hugs to you and your Grandma. She sounds like a delightfully, tough lady. Cancer won’t know what hit it! I’ll keep your family in my prayers.

  22. Oh honey I am so sorry. It seems as though if anyone was equipped to kick cancers ass to the curb it would be her. Wishing you and your whole family the best! xo

  23. I’m so sorry, pal.

  24. Tiny Gramma says:

    Good one sweetie. I forgot about those pictures we took in front of the white thing. I love you bunches.

  25. listen, cancer is a dummy butt.

    we have the hate of it over here.

    Go get it, Grandma. Own it and then kick it’s trash to the curb.

  26. I’m sorry, sending prayers your way!